At the Utrecht Canal Pride on 4 June, headline sponsor Vodafone will be showcasing the 'Real Models' campaign. The aim is to give young people within the LGBT+ community realistic role models. Visitors to Pride can become role models themselves as part of this campaign. The first 'real models' are part of VodafoneZiggo's Queers Connected employee network.

Role models can have a positive and inspiring influence on everyone's development. For LGBT+ young people, role models with whom they can identify in their own environment are often scarcer. The majority of LGBT+ young people find their role models in the media.* That is why a broad and recognisable representation in the media that is not based on stereotypes is so important.
Realistic role models
During Utrecht Canal Pride, Vodafone will be showing real and diverse faces from the community in real time. Visitors to Utrecht Canal Pride can make their own campaign poster in the two specially designed photobooths at Central Station and in the centre of Utrecht. The campaign posters will be visible on digital screens in the city and in the Vodafone shops in Utrecht. They thus become part of the 'Real Models' campaign.

"With our Vodafone brand and as VodafoneZiggo employer, we are actively striving for an inclusive society in which everyone enjoys the freedom to be themselves," says VodafoneZiggo CEO, Jeroen Hoencamp.

Own employees as role models
The first 'real models' for this campaign are part of VodafoneZiggo's 'Queers Connected' employee network. "With Queers Connected, we create a safe working environment for LGBT+ colleagues," says Steven Kroon, chair of the Queers Connected network. "First of all, by bringing us together and secondly by organising events and workshops. It's invaluable that we, as a queer community, get the resources and support from VodafoneZiggo to, for example, launch a campaign like this together. We know only too well how liberating it feels to be able to be yourself and how important it is to inspire others in the community."

The campaign will run from 30 May to 5 June on digital screens in Utrecht and narrowcasting in Vodafone shops.

*) Source: Bird, J.D.P., Kuhns, L. & Garofalo, R. The impact of role models on health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50(4), 353-357.